Every year, around Halloween, I get asked by a lot of parents what the hot new toy is going to be for Christmas. Some years, it’s easy — there might be a few frontrunners that you can tell are going to be popular. Other times, like this fall, it’s a lot more difficult because there aren’t a lot of standouts. However, the RC Extreme Hero Iron Man might just be one of the holiday season’s hot hits.
The 19-inch remote-controlled flying foam superhero is based on Greg Tanous’ seventy eight-inch prototype. While quite a bit smaller, it is still big on fun, this deceptively powerful remote controlled toy version of the flying Avenger. The flying superhero has a range of 200+ feet and using a 2.4 Ghz controller, it self-selects from sixteen channels to avoid radio interference from other devices.
Setup is a bit of a drag because charging can take up to 45 minutes, common for RC devices that charge the vehicle from the controller, like this one does. And when it’s completely charged, you only get seven minutes of flight time from the airborne Avenger. Still, what a glorious seven minutes it is.
Piloting the Iron Man takes a tiny bit of a learning curve and the manufacturer has a training video to help you get the most out of your Iron Man. However, after a flight session or two, you’ll be a seasoned pro. Flight is powered by two small propellors sitting just below either of Iron Man’s shoulders and the dual power, and the structure of the model allow for gentle, banking turns, nice power dives and strong climbs. Plus, if you find your Iron Man pulling to one side, there is a trim dial that allows you to easily find straight flight.
The box recommends the flying model for kids eight and older, but I’m not sure, that might be too young. RC flight can be a little tough to master and, while the Iron Man body is fairly bulletproof, flying with dents and gouges, the propellers aren’t nearly as hardy. Our first time out, we crash landed on a park sidewalk and destroyed a propeller and part of the housing surrounding a motor. The model does come with a prop replacement for each side, but younger, less coordinated, or experienced pilots could run through their allotment of props before the first charge was depleted. (Manufacturer EB Brands recommends contacting their customer service for additional propellors.)
You do need a lot of space to fly Iron Man, a backyard probably won’t cut it and you’ll have to go to a school yard or open field to fly. Lift off is, ahem, a breeze. Simply power up the throttle, gently toss His Starkness into the air, and away he flies. You needn’t worry about climbing, as the structure of the model allows climbing as long as he’s flying in a straight line. Turning causes him to lose a bit of altitude, but stable flight is incredibly easy to achieve; it’s easy to look like a seasoned RC veteran.
Play with the RC Extreme Hero enough and you’ll crash, as we did, putting some dings and bent bits in your armor … it’s almost inevitable. However, thanks to the foam construction, bending parts back into place is easy, and damage doesn’t seem to affect flight at all.
The RC Extreme Hero isn’t an impulse buy at a $79.99 retail price, but it is a powerful toy and a really fun RC experience. Plus, in a year without a standout toy, the RC Extreme Hero Iron Man very well could be the surprise hit of the holiday season.
Disclosure: GeekDad was sent a sample of this product to review.